Abstract

Many children within the autism population also have food selectivity, and it is not clear how this comorbid difficulty affects the mealtime experience for families. The purpose of this qualitative interview study was to gain an understanding of the mealtime experience of mothers of children with autism and food selectivity. The transcribed interviews were analyzed using a phenomenological approach. Mothers in this study described mealtime as difficult and stressful. Reasons for mealtime stress included the child’s self-restricted diet and difficulty sitting at the table. The mothers described attempts to improve mealtime but little success. Implications of the findings are discussed in the context of the literature.

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